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Renowned First Nations model Elaine George announced as one of Australian Fashion Week's 2024 Changemakers

Phoebe Blogg -

Celebrated for her presence and ongoing advocacy for First Nations representation both on and off the runway, this month renowned Indigenous model Elaine George has been named one of Australian Fashion Weeks official Changemakers for 2024.

First launched in 2021, IMG’s Changemakers is a collective of names leveraging fashion as a cultural catalyst and defining the future of Australian fashion.

The Changemakers program spotlights designers, models, makeup artists, creatives and fashion industry professionals defining Australian fashion’s cultural impact. The 2024 Changemakers will participate in Australian Fashion Week (AFW) in various capacities including content integrations, runway shows and programming.  

This month IMG was finally able to reveal who those Changemakers were, with the international modelling conglomerate announcing the 2024 Changemakers are Elaine George, James Bartle, Kim Russell and Rumbie Mutsiwa.

Taking part in a panel discussion on Thursday the 16th of May, these Changemakers will share their knowledge and insights with both media and the public. 

With this being George’s first time recognised as an industry leader at the renowned fashion event, she is thrilled to have been selected for the opportunity.

“Very honoured to be nominated. I am proud to be one of the many first nations champions who have gained this Australian industry recognition from 2022 Charlee Fraser and Liandra Gaykamangu to when it (the changemakers program) first launched in 2021 it was Grace Lillian Lee, Lisa Fatnowna, Nathan McGuire and Yatu Widders-Hunt,” George said.

First Nations model Elaine George. (Image: Rob Tennent)

Known as the first Indigenous model to front Vogue Magazine in 1993, George has been a pillar and mentor for young Indigenous models providing wisdom and guidance while becoming a regular walker at AFW shows.  

In 2024, George is eager to return to the AFW catwalk, with the renowned model cast to walk in the Next Gen Runway – a runway presentation that recognises the new guard of innovators influencing the future of fashion design in Australian fashion - set for 14 May.

"I am excited for another Australian Fashion Week this May and even more for this year as it will be the first year that I have been casted for Australian designer shows including Next Gen Runway," George told Style Up.

"I am filled with pride to still be able to represent First Nations people on an industry level and walk Australian fashion runways."

 Elaine George. (Image: Rob Tennent)

With hype surrounding George's involvement and participation at AFW only building, she said with this involvement at AFW she hopes to further motivate and inspire todays younger generations. 

“As a model mentor, I want to continue to inspire and motivate our next generation," she said.

"I want to show them that if I can come back after 30 years that you  can do this."

Presented by Pandora, Australian Fashion Week will run from the 13 – 17 May.

Held annually in Sydney each May, the event is Australia’s biggest global fashion platform and the largest and most influential fashion event in the Asia-Pacific.

Australian Fashion Week will feature the industry’s biggest names alongside the next generation of Australian designers defining the future of the Australian platform.

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